You going to shuffle that deck, or are you just going to stare at the cards?
I am considering my options.
Lot of face cards buried under. You should just start fresh.
A little late for that.
Who do you suppose was driving that Bel Air? It looked like the one I had when I first got married. If I was a betting man, I’d say it was the same one. A man never forgets his first family vehicle.
There’s a lot of them on the road. What do they say? When you’re driving a red car, all you see are red cars. When you’re driving a Dodge, that’s all you come upon.
You have any visitors last night?
None that I recall. I was busy being dead, though. Thought I heard an engine around eight o’clock, but that might have been the wind. And the rain, when it falls on that scrawny tin roof of yours, makes all kinds of interesting noises. But nobody came through the door and introduced themselves to me. I didn’t see any headlights shining through the cracks . So if I had any visitors, I’m unprepared to sign my name to it.
Nobody thinking about looking you up? Family or long lost friends?
My kin gave up on me a long time ago. And friends? Well, you know how that goes.
I admitted that I did know. A man loses touch with his friends when he’s tending to a wife and boy. And when the boy leaves, all that’s left is the wife. An unhappy wife ain’t the most pleasant of company.
You hear from your boy lately? he asked.
Not for years. We parted ways when he was a young man, as you well know. He don’t exactly drop me postcards to tell me how he’s doing.
You ever going to tell me what happened, or am I just going to sit here and rot some more?
It ain’t a good story, I said. Wilfred was confused about things, and I wasn’t patient enough to help him sort them through. You don’t want to hear about it. You know how I am.
Better than most, said Jackson. Probably better than anyone who ever thought they knew you.
Excerpt from Ordinary Handsome. Available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P46ZPA0
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